Culture watch

Local Musicians Get Their Big Break

If you’ve ever heard local jazzy, funky folk rockers Jen and the Juice, chances are you’ve thought them unlikely to hit big in the mainstream. It’s not that Jen Greer and her band aren’t talented, mind you, but rather that their signature sound, which they’ve dubbed “eclectic hipster hymns,” is far too quirky for the playlists of most stations on the dial. And yet, thanks to increasingly talent-hungry cable network CMT, Jen and the Juice—and a handful of other local talent—may have just gotten their collective foot in the mainstream door. Fittingly, the show is called Big Break, and though it’s mostly just a potshot at stardom, it’s still pretty cool to see locals getting some cable-TV attention. Local singer/songwriter Josh Fowler, bluegrass outfit Kudzu, ex-Nashville Star contestant Johnny Orr, country-gospel group Stone Black, swampy Swamp Horse Family Band, “high-test hillbilly” band Tater, folk singer Kellin Watson, rocker Marc Whitson, solo performer Lindsay Wojcik, and ex-Blue Rag Aaron “Woody” Wood are also set to appear on the show. Better yet, one of these featured performers will “get the chance of a lifetime” by opening for mainstream-country performer Sara Evans at her concert in Asheville. The show airs Friday, Aug. 4, at 9:30 p.m. on Charter Cable channel 64. (This concert actually happened months ago, and—not to ruin it for you—but the winner was the guy better known as “Hollywood Red.”)

What To Be Seen Reading During Your Hot Topic Lunch Break

Local writer Kaila Gant was only 13 when she started work on her first novel, the teen-oriented vampire thriller Silent Nights: The Deathless Ones. Now 16, she’s just released the second in the series, Silent Nights Book Two: The Awakening of Scars. The book should see a reasonably strong release locally, with Gant already slated for signings in the area. If fangs, blood and teenage angst are your thing, it might be worth swinging by the Tunnel Road Barnes & Noble on Friday, Aug. 4, from 1 to 3 p.m. to get your own signed copy.

Who Needs Culture Watch When You’ve Got A Blog?

For a city with such a great music scene, it’s a little surprising how badly organized the information-sharing network is around Asheville. But thanks to ambitious fan Don Talley, the fractured, clique-ridden, occasionally snobby community we all know and love just might have a place to keep tabs on itself. Although the layout could use some work, www.AshevilleMusicScene.com is worth taking a look at.

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